Eating oily fish 'delays loss of brain cells'
Eating oily fish 'delays loss of brain cells'

Eating oily fish ‘delays loss of brain cells’ : Study Suggests

According to a recent research, eating more fish could lead to larger brain volume, particularly in the hippocampus – the brain area directly linked to dementia. The number of nerve cells in the hippocampus has a great influence on memory, and their amount decreases as people get older.

1,111 women took part in the study during which the levels of omega-3 fatty acids were measured in their blood. It was discovered that higher levels of those acids help preserve bigger brains as we age. The research participants with higher intakes of omega-3 showed 0.7 per cent increase of the overall brain size, and 2.7 per cent larger hippocampus area.

Lead scientist Dr James Pottala, from the University of South Dakota in Sioux Falls, US, said: “These higher levels of fatty acids can be achieved through diet and the use of supplements, and the results suggest that the effect on brain volume is the equivalent of delaying the normal loss of brain cells that comes with ageing by one to two years.”

The findings are published in the latest online edition of the journal Neurology.

Shrinking brain volume is a known sign of Alzheimer’s disease as well as normal ageing.

Dr Laura Phipps, from the charity Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: ” There has been mixed evidence as to the benefits of omega-3 fish oils on the brain and whether they may protect against memory decline and dementia.

“This study suggests that higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids in blood are linked to larger brain size but the possible reasons for this association need further investigation. We know that the brain gets smaller in people with dementia, but it is unclear from the study what effect larger brain size would have on memory and thinking in the volunteers or their long-term risk of developing dementia.


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